§ 3.8 p.m.
§ Amendments reported (according to Order).
§ Then, Standing Order No. XXXIX having been suspended (pursuant to Resolution of May 6):
§ THE JOINT PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES (THE EARL OF HUNTINGDON)
My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 3ª.—(The Earl of Huntingdon.)
§ LORD LUCAS OF CHILWORTH
My Lords, before this excellent Bill passes from your Lordships' House and has what I hope will be a quick passage through another place, I would like to ask my noble friend whether, on behalf of his light honourable friend the Minister, he can give an assurance upon Clause 7 of the Bill. That clause says:Where … the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries is satisfied that the society or institution cannot obtain the services of an adequate number of veterinary surgeons, the Minister may, if he thinks fit, grant a licence under this section to any person employed or to be employed by the society or institution.I should like to ask my noble friend whether he can give an assurance that in granting these licences the Minister will always have strict regard to the number of qualified veterinary surgeons available. It would be a great satisfaction to the veterinary profession if they could feel that the Minister was ever watchful that this clause would not provide an open door for an unregulated number of unqualified persons to enter the profession.
§ THE EARL OF HUNTINGDON
My Lords, on behalf of my right honourable friend the Minister, I am very happy to give the noble Lord the assurance for which he has asked and to make it quite clear that the intention will be that, as and when the supply of veterinary surgeons improves, the number of fresh licences will be reduced, due regard being had to any extension of the society's work in poor districts not already covered. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons will be consulted with regard to the supply position at any particular time. I hope that will satisfy the noble Lord and that your Lordships will see fit to give this Bill a Third Reading.
§ On Question, Bill read 3ª and passed, and sent to the Commons.